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Issue 295 - The right definition of Success can make you fearless

Woodens Wisdom
Wooden's Wisdom - Volume 6 Issue 295
Craig Impelman Speaking |  Championship Coaches |  Champion's Leadership Library Login



"Please help my child to stop being afraid of making a mistake." In my thirty years of doing summer basketball camps, this was one of the most common requests I received from the mothers of our young campers. It is also a fear that handicapped many competent adult employees I managed.
Getting youngsters and adults to understand that: The people who don’t make mistakes are the people who don’t do anything is a good first step to get rid of this fear of making a mistake.
The second fear to overcome is the fear of the outcome of any competitive event, whether it is a sporting event or a sales contest. This is a fear the general public suffers from because in the media: either you win or you lose.
Coach Wooden defined success as: Peace of mind attained only through self-satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you’re capable. The idea of a best effort/personal best approach is used by many of today’s elite athletes and coaches. Some youth coaches, parents and corporate leaders, unfortunately, are still pushing the win or lose approach. The win or lose approach perpetuates the fear of failure and handicaps the performance of the participant whether it is a little league baseball player, a student taking a college placement test or a salesman trying to get a big deal because it makes them tight.
Coach Wooden’s definition of best effort was certainly not just showing up and trying your best. Players were not given a participation medal for just showing up to practice and working hard.
Coach defined the details of best effort on his Pyramid of Success. His definition of best effort included preparation, attention to detail, positive attitude, getting along with and including others, self-control, an eagerness to constantly improve, a fighting spirit with a never give up attitude, moral, mental and physical conditioning and the ability to not only properly but also quickly execute the needed fundamentals, just to name a few of the elements.
Coach Wooden’s approach eliminates the fear of the unknown going into competition, because you know at that moment you are only capable of your best effort and afterwards using Coach’s Pyramid of Success list you can pinpoint the qualities you need to focus on to improve your next performance.
Are you judging yourself on the hype of somebody else’s opinion or are you being productively self-critical by pinpointing the areas you can improve in.
Stay loose!

Yours in Coaching,
Craig Impelman




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Application Exercise



The Temple-What Makes It Of Worth

You may delve down to rock for your foundation piers,
You may go with your steel to the sky
You may purchase the best of the thought of the years,
And the finest of workmanship buy.
You may line with the rarest of marble each hall,
And with gold you may tint it; but then
It is only a building if it, after all,
Isn't filled with the spirit of men.

You may put up a structure of brick and of stone,
Such as never was put up before;
Place there the costliest woods that are grown,
And carve every pillar and door.
You may fill it with splendors of quarry and mine,
With the glories of brush and of pen —
But it's only a building, though ever so fine,
If it hasn't the spirit of men.

You may build such structure that lightning can't harm,
Or one that an earthquake can't raze;
You may build it of granite, and boast that its charm
Shall last to the end of all days.
But you might as well never have builded at all,
Never cleared off the bog and the fen,
If, after it's finished, its sheltering wall
Doesn't stand for the spirit of men.

For it isn't the marble, nor is it the stone
Nor is it the columns of steel,
By which is the worth of an edifice known;
But it's something that's living and real.

Edgar Albert Guest (1881 to 1959)






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